Remembering Fr. Gerry Jean-Juste
Posted May 27th, 2012
Today marks the 3rd anniversary of Fr. Gerry Jean-Juste’s death. The loss of this extraordinary man is still felt deeply in Haiti, as well as by many in the United States from Miami to Berkeley, and elsewhere in the world. His prophetic voice inspired millions and he left a powerful legacy of social justice work on behalf of Haitians in Haiti and in the United States that will always be remembered. I feel forever grateful that I had the privilege of working so closely with him for nine years through our special partnership with his community in Ti Plas Kazo.
During my trip to Port-au-Prince last month, I gathered with our Haitian partners and about 300 children from the food and education programs for a beautiful blessing ceremony on the land we purchased after the earthquake. We sang songs, prayed and gave thanks for our partnership and the opportunity to work together, especially as we step forward into the next chapter of building a kitchen/cafeteria and school on the land. As the wind blew and light rains came and went, and I stood shoulder to shoulder under a tarp with so many from the community, I couldn’t help but feel Fr. Gerry’s presence.
Over our heads, tied between two trees, swung a banner with Fr. Gerry’s picture on it. I looked up at it throughout the gathering and thought about how happy he would be to see us there, all together, with the programs he loved continuing to thrive, and our partnership so solid, taking steps together in faith and love into the future.